Summer Nights in Brooklyn

Her bare back glistened in the late afternoon sun, her burgundy dress billowing as she walked. A pale slender neck led to a goddess’ head, no emotion betrayed behind her dark glasses, and her black hair pulled into a tight bun. She glided across the street as if the large black bag on her shoulder weighed nothing, paying little attention to the musicians gathered on the corner. There was a confidence and determination in her journey, and her eternal legs capped with crimson heels vanished around a corner. She was gone, but she would only be the first that evening.

I love Brooklyn this time of year. Today was an especially humid day, as I discovered when I left my office a little before 3PM. I only had an hour to get home, change my clothes, and drive with my dad to meet a trumpet player. From there, the three of us had to brave the Long Island Expressway on a Friday night. I wasn’t looking forward to that but my dad’s car, not yet a year old, has excellent air conditioning compared to my car, which actually has NO air conditioning. But I can manually open the windows, so there’s that. The commute wasn’t bad since most people were either still at work or, like myself, got out early on Fridays in the Summer.

It was still humid but the sun was setting, and it cooled down enough to make our three hour procession bearable. There was a healthy supply of sights like the one described in my opening paragraph, and an excellent food stop with Italian sandwiches and homemade cookies. It’s such a different atmosphere than the suburbs of Long Island. When it gets dark here, the lights go out and life on the street seems to cease. Anytime there are still children out my parents get upset and wonder when their bedtimes are. In some cases they’re showing their age, but occasionally even I’m a little surprised to see 4- or 5-year-olds running to an ice cream truck at nine o’clock; I definitely wasn’t allowed OUT let alone UP at that hour when I was that age.

Brooklyn, like Manhattan, seems to wake up when others would go to sleep. People are walking up and down the streets, or riding bicycles, or just lounging at sidewalk cafés taking in the music as we walk by. Mothers push babies in strollers and children ride by on scooters on the sidewalk laughing. It’s definitely unreal and magical, and a nice escape from the reality of my normal schedule. Sometimes it depresses me to think that being an adult means falling into a routine, and it’s nice to see a place where adults and children alike might spontaneously go out and have fun, regardless of the hour and what society deems “decent”.

I don’t have long before I return. Every July there’s a big Italian feast celebrated on the 14th and the 16th. This year they moved the first date, the night procession, to the 15th. It’s helpful that this gig fell on a weekend this year since I’m almost finally caught up at my day job. Chances are, I’ve jinxed myself with that statement. The downside of the feast being two days in a row however means that there’s not much time to rest. I have to be back in Brooklyn by 8 AM tomorrow, and it will be a long day. There’s a break from 10-11, and longer one in the afternoon from 2:30-7, and the majority of our playing at night will be sitting down. I should be home before midnight and thankfully, another job I was supposed to do in Queens on Sunday was canceled so I’ll have a chance to recuperate. With all the craziness at my regular job, I haven’t made it to the gym more than once a week for a while now and it’s showing. Tonight and tomorrow will provide much needed exercise. If nothing else, I’ll get in quite a bit of abdominal exercise sucking in my gut every time some beauty in a sun dress floats by.


Blogger Kev said...

Yeah! What's up with ice cream trucks that late in the evening. We have one that comes by about 8:30. When I was a kid (in crotchety old man voice - kinda like grampa simpson) the ice cream truck would come around during the day, when the sun was up. usually around lunch time, a little before or a little after. Never after bedtime!

7/16/2005 2:58 PM  

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